No celebration would be complete without a festive manicure. As the holidays are fast approaching, it’s important to pick colors that not only reflect your style but also make a statements—after all, your hands are meant to be a fabulous accessory!
Get ready for party season and learn how to nail it—pun intended—in easy, glitzy ways!
LADY IN RED
Of course, the classic red is the hue for the Holidays. What makes it so special? Red is always chic and it can dress up your hands in seconds. As EssieWeingarten, founder of the popular brand Essie Nail Polish, says: “There’s no such thing as ‘certain age’ to pull off a red lacquer.” So go ahead and grab your favorite—and make sure it flatters your skin tone. A red manicure will give you the confidence of a beautiful Old Hollywood starlet.
During festivities, glittery finishes are allowed; but creamy, glossy nail polish remains the most sophisticated choice. Quick note: Keep your nails short. Extremely long nails are so 90s, and they look cheap when manicured with dark shades.
Recommendations: OPI Nail Lacquer Big Apple Red ($7); e.l.f. Essential Nail Polish Smokin Hot ($2); butter London Chancer Nail Lacquer ($14); Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color Red Carpet ($2.50); Essie Nail Polish Lollipop ($8).
A hint of sparkle makes everything look more festive—so why not dazzle with some gold nail polish? Whether you opt for gold accents or prefer an all-over-color, find the right formula: thick enough to get smooth or transparent results with chunky gold pieces or sequins messing up the surface of your nails.
Recommendations: Dior Diorific Vernis Diorling ($26); Zoya Nail Polish Ziv ($8); OPI The Man With The Golden Gun—Limited edition, with real 18K gold flakes. ($40); Nail Rock Metallic Gold Nail Wrap ($7); the Balm Hot Ticket All You Ever Do Is Taupe ($10).
Just like salt and pepper, silver is gold’s best-friend and a big part of our holiday nail polish menu. The same rule applies here: depending on the finish you’re going for, pay attention to thickness and uniformity. Silver lacquers tend to run watery—be careful. Our tip? Use it as a top coat to wake up a base color.
Recommendations: LCN Nail Polish Frosted Martini ($9.95); Nails Inc. Montpelier Square Polish ($9.50); Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color Silver Elements ($9); Nicole by OPI Justin Bieber Collection Silver Sparkles ($7); N.Y.C. New York Color Long-Wearing Nail Enamel Starry Silver Glitter ($1).
EARTH AND WATER
Remember those bright greens or pastel turquoises you wore in summer? Well, it’s time to welcome their darker counterparts. Winter calls for deep, grown-up alternatives. Mossy, musky green, indigo blue or variations of brown are must-haves. Shades like these are elegant, but still wearable for any kind of celebration. Don’t be afraid of flashy finishes!
Recommendations: Dior Vernis Blue Label ($23); Tom Ford Beauty Nail Lacquer Bitter Bitch ($30); Nars Cosmetics Opaque Nail Polish Zulu ($18); Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer Styled Out ($3); Nailuv Gel Polish Bulletproof ($14.95).
LAVISH, RICH BLACK
Yes, you can pull off black nail polish, especially during the holidays. It’s best when paired with shimmery touches, ombré or unexpected matte textures. What I really love about black (or pitch-dark gray) is its versatility. Once associated with “Goths”, black lacquer is now synonymous with luxury and sophistication. You definitely can’t go wrong.
Read Related: New Trends in Nail Art
Recommendations: Zoya Nail Polish Storm ($8); Wet n Wild Wild Shine Nail Color Black Crème ($2); N.Y.C. New York Color Matte Me Crazy Top Coat ($2); Lancome Vernis in Love Noir Caviar ($15); Avon Nailwear Pro+ Nail Enamel Polish Licorice ($6).
Dark, vampy nail color, despite its supernatural connotations, looks fresh, young and timeless. From creamy plum to shiny burgundy and high-class oxblood (the hottest tone for winter), you’re bound to find the right shade for you. Plus, these polishes have the ability to spice up your look…and your mood. Holiday date night, anyone?
Recommendations: butter London La Moss Nail Lacquer ($14); MAC Cosmetics Nail Lacquer Rebel ($16); Duality Cosmetics Nail Pak Gabriela ($15); OPI Nail Lacquer Lincoln Park After Dark ($7); Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Gel Nail Color Pat on the Black ($14).
Now and then, we all prefer low key options. And why not? A neutral mani looks polished and clean, and chips are less likely to show. Do be sure to keep your under nails dirt-free—unless you’re a mechanic working on Christmas Eve, nobody will be pleased.
French manicures have been on the blacklist of beauty editors for years (long nails + white, unnatural tips=tacky to the max). However, things are starting to change now that Chanel brought the French manicure back in its latest fashion show. The trick here is to make a fine white line—again, your nails must be short—and top off with a pinkish shade for a refined finish. No matter the style, hydrate your cuticles as much as you can and buff your nails. This way, any yellow tone or uneven surfaces will disappear.
Recommendations: Mally Beauty 24/7 French Manicure Gel Nail Polish Kit ($30); Tom Ford Beauty Nail Lacquer Toasted Sugar ($30); e.l.f. Essential Nail Polish Nude ($2); Essie Nail Polish Mademoiselle ($8); Nails Inc. Floral Street Polish ($9.50).
To make your life easier, many beauty companies have launched nail-art inspired seasonal stickers and wraps that put you in a holiday mood without the drying time. But if you’ve got a steady hand and lots of patience, don’t hesitate to create your own amazing nail-art designs with colorful nail polish, glitter and not-so-common materials such as lace or tape. The Internet offers ideas galore—from Hanukkah blue and white patterns, to snowflakes, and red and green hues to celebrate Christmas. Hands down, your achievement will be admired as a piece of art!
Recommendations: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips Snow Way! ($8); Ciaté Paint Pots Nail Polish Skinny Jeans ($15); Nail Rock Nail Wrap White Dots on Red ($7); Color Club Nail Art Essentials; Party City Christmas Nail Art Stickers ($1).